20 Seconds to Better Habits

Recently a colleague asked me about the power of inertia, and how it can inhibit our growth, our progressive, and our forward momentum! There are many theories and books written about inertia and the need to overcome inertia to achieve sustainable change. Inertia, just to be clear on our definition, is simply the resistance of any physical object to change in its ‘state’ whether that ‘state’ be in motion or in rest. That goes for human beings and our behaviors, as well!

So, how can we overcome inertia, when it is often SO much easier, for example, to stay on the couch versus getting up and moving?  This is an easy tip to consider: simply remember that it only takes 20 seconds to make the difference between action and inaction! I have read funny stories about shopaholics that put their credit cards on ice, as in the time it took to ‘thaw’ out the credit card, the urge to spend was gone! I have also personally experienced the 20 second phenomenon with my new-found commitment to daily 6 am Pilates classes. If I simply lay out my workout clothes the night before, I get in them first thing out of bed and I am half-way there!

So, if you have a habit you are trying to break – or one you are trying to form – think about what you can do in that first 20 seconds between action and inaction to make it easier. It is amazing the results you can experience.